A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my first spinning lesson and how my teacher has a theory that dancers find it easier to learn because they’re use to making complicated movements with their feet at the same time as with their hands. Being a complete klutz at dancing, I hadn’t expected to be a very quick learner, but in the event I turned out not to be too bad.
When I put some thought into why this was, I concluded it was probably because I’m used to cycling and peddling is similar to treadling. However, I’m not sure that’s the whole story.
Last week I was thinking about designing a fair isle pattern, so I flicked through some stitchonaries while riding my indoor bike. Within about ten minutes I’d worked out what I wanted to do.
Normally I’d read a novel while I’m cycling, but working out the fair isle before I even got in the shower made me feel I’d caught a steal on the day and I wondered what else I could do. Two years ago, when I started cycling indoors, I tried to knit and cycle, but it slowed my peddling so much it wasn’t worth doing. Two years on, remembering my spinning success, I decided to give it another go.
This time around it was easy to cycle at speed, and in the last couple of days I’ve knitted a whole Santa sack while cycling.
My guess is that two years of reading while cycling has trained my legs to keep peddling while I think about other stuff. In turn this has made learning to spin a little easier and learning to spin, has improved my ability to coordinate my hands and feet separately. This feels very satisfying and was a great reminder of the importance of stretching myself to learn new things and that learning something new is rarely just about learning that new thing 🙂